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Introductions to Haskell

These are the recommended places to start learning, short of buying a textbook.

Best places to start

Yet Another Haskell Tutorial
By Hal Daume III et al. A recommended tutorial for Haskell that is still under construction but covers already much ground. Also a classic text. Now available as a wikibook.
Haskell Wikibook
A communal effort by several authors to produce the definitive Haskell textbook. Its very much a work in progress at the moment, and contributions are welcome.
Write Yourself a Scheme in 48 Hours in Haskell
A Haskell Tutorial, by Jonathan Tang. Most Haskell tutorials on the web seem to take a language-reference-manual approach to teaching. They show you the syntax of the language, a few language constructs, and then have you construct a few simple functions at the interactive prompt. The "hard stuff" of how to write a functioning, useful program is left to the end, or sometimes omitted entirely. This tutorial takes a different tack. You'll start off with command-line arguments and parsing, and progress to writing a fully-functional Scheme interpreter that implements a good-sized subset of R5RS Scheme. Along the way, you'll learn Haskell's I/O, mutable state, dynamic typing, error handling, and parsing features. By the time you finish, you should be fairly fluent in both Haskell and Scheme.
Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!
Nicely illustrated tutorial showing Haskell concepts while interacting in GHCi.

More tutorials

A Gentle Introduction to Haskell
By Paul Hudak, John Peterson, and Joseph H. Fasel. The title is misleading. Some knowledge of another functional programming language is expected. The emphasis is on the type system and those features which are really new in Haskell (compared to other functional programming languages). A classic, but not for the faint of heart (it's not so gentle). Also available in French and Russian.
H-99: Ninety-Nine Haskell Problems
A collection of programming puzzles, with Haskell solutions. Solving these is a great way to get into Haskell programming.
Haskell Tutorial for C Programmers
By Eric Etheridge. From the intro: "This tutorial assumes that the reader is familiar with C/C++, Python, Java, or Pascal. I am writing for you because it seems that no other tutorial was written to help students overcome the difficulty of moving from C/C++, Java, and the like to Haskell."
Beginning Haskell
From IBM developerWorks. This tutorial targets programmers of imperative languages wanting to learn about functional programming in the language Haskell. If you have programmed in languages such as C, Pascal, Fortran, C++, Java, Cobol, Ada, Perl, TCL, REXX, JavaScript, Visual Basic, or many others, you have been using an imperative paradigm. This tutorial provides a gentle introduction to the paradigm of functional programming, with specific illustrations in the Haskell 98 language. (Free registration required.)
Online Haskell Course
By Ralf Hinze (in German).
Tutorial Papers in Functional Programming.
A collection of links to other Haskell tutorials, from John Hughes.
Two Dozen Short Lessons in Haskell
By Rex Page. A draft of a textbook on functional programming, available by ftp. It calls for active participation from readers by omitting material at certain points and asking the reader to attempt to fill in the missing information based on knowledge they have already acquired. The missing information is then supplied on the reverse side of the page.
By Damir Medak and Gerhard Navratil. The fundamentals of functional languages for beginners.
Video Lectures
Lectures (in English) by Jürgen Giesl. About 30 hours in total, and great for learning Haskell. The lectures are 2005-SS-FP.V01 through 2005-SS-FP.V26. Videos 2005-SS-FP.U01 through 2005-SS-FP.U11 are exercise answer sessions, so you probably don't want those.
Albert's Functional Programming Course
A 15 lesson introduction to most aspects of Haskell.
Introduction to Haskell
By Chris Dutton, An "attempt to bring the ideas of functional programming to the masses here, and an experiment in finding ways to make it easy and interesting to follow".
An Introduction to Haskell
A brief introduction, by Brian Howard.
Introduction to Haskell
By Isaac Jones (2003).
Translating Haskell into English
By Shannon Behrens, a glimpse of the Zen of Haskell, without requiring that they already be Haskell converts.
Haskell for Perl Programmers
Brief introduction to Haskell, with a view to what perl programmers are interested in
How To Organize a Picnic on a Computer
Fun introduction to Haskell, step by step building of a program to seat people at a planned picnic, based on their similarities using data from a survey and a map of the picnic location.
Haskell Tutorial
Conrad Barski's Haskell tutorial .. with robots
Frederick Ross's Haskell introduction

Motivation for using Haskell

Why Functional Programming Matters
By John Hughes, The Computer Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1989, pp. 98 - 107. Also in: David A. Turner (ed.): Research Topics in Functional Programming, Addison-Wesley, 1990, pp. 17 - 42.
Exposes the advantages of functional programming languages. Demonstrates how higher-order functions and lazy evaluation enable new forms of modularization of programs.
Why Haskell matters
Discussion of the advantages of using Haskell in particular. An excellent article.
Higher-order + Polymorphic = Reusable
By Simon Thompson. Unpublished, May 1997.
Abstract: This paper explores how certain ideas in object oriented languages have their correspondents in functional languages. In particular we look at the analogue of the iterators of the C++ standard template library. We also give an example of the use of constructor classes which feature in Haskell 1.3 and Gofer.
Explore functional programming with Haskell
Introduction to the benefits of functional programming in Haskell by Bruce Tate.

Blog articles

There are a large number of tutorials covering diverse Haskell topics published as blogs. Some of the best of these articles are collected here:

Blog articles

Practical Haskell

These tutorials examine using Haskell to writing complex real-world applications

Tackling the awkward squad: monadic input/output, concurrency, exceptions, and foreign-language calls in Haskell
Simon Peyton Jones. Presented at the 2000 Marktoberdorf Summer School. In "Engineering theories of software construction", ed Tony Hoare, Manfred Broy, Ralf Steinbruggen, IOS Press, ISBN 1-58603-1724, 2001, pp47-96. The standard reference for monadic IO in GHC/Haskell.
Abstract:Functional programming may be beautiful, but to write real applications we must grapple with awkward real-world issues: input/output, robustness, concurrency, and interfacing to programs written in other languages.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Haskell
Tutorial for C/Java/OCaml/... programers by Dmitry Astapov. From the intro: "This text intends to introduce the reader to the practical aspects of Haskell from the very beginning (plans for the first chapters include: I/O, darcs, Parsec, QuickCheck, profiling and debugging, to mention a few)".
Haskell I/O inside: Down the Rabbit's Hole
By Bulat Ziganshin (2006), a comprehensive tutorial on using IO monad.
A Guide to Haskell's Foreign Function Interface
A guide to using the foreign function interface extension, using the rich set of functions in the Foreign libraries, design issues, and FFI preprocessors.
Haskell IO for imperative programmers
A short introduction to IO from the perspective of an imperative programmer.
A Brief Introduction to Haskell
A translation of the article, Introduction to OCaml, to Haskell.
Roll your own IRC bot
This tutorial is designed as a practical guide to writing real world code in Haskell and hopes to intuitively motivate and introduce some of the advanced features of Haskell to the novice programmer, including monad transformers. Our goal is to write a concise, robust and elegant IRC bot in Haskell.
Glade Tutorial (GUI Programming)
For the absolute beginner in both Glade and Gtk2Hs. Covers the basics of Glade and how to access a .glade file and widgets in Gtk2Hs. Estimated learning time: 2 hours.
Tutorial de Glade
A Spanish translation of the Glade tutorial
Gtk2Hs Tutorial
An extensive Gtk2Hs programming guide, based on the GTK+2.0 tutorial by Tony Gale and Ian Main. This tutorial on GUI programming with Gtk2Hs has 22 chapters in 7 sections, plus an appendix on starting drawing with Cairo. A Spanish translation and source code of the examples are also available.
Applications of Functional Programming
Colin Runciman and David Wakeling (ed.), UCL Press, 1995, ISBN 1-85728-377-5 HB. From the cover:

This book is unique in showcasing real, non-trivial applications of functional programming using the Haskell language. It presents state-of-the-art work from the FLARE project and will be an invaluable resource for advanced study, research and implementation.

DealingWithBinaryData a guide to bytestrings, the various Get monads and the Put monad.


Small overview of QuickCheck
Introduction to QuickCheck

Reference material

A growing list of Haskell tutorials on a diverse range of topics
Available on this wiki
"How to"-style tutorials and information
A Tour of the Haskell Prelude (basic functions)
By Bernie Pope and Arjan van IJzendoorn.
Tour of the Haskell Syntax
By Arjan van IJzendoorn.
Haskell Reference
By Miloslav Nic.
A tour of the Haskell Monad functions
By Henk-Jan van Tuyl.
Useful Haskell functions
An explanation for beginners of many Haskell functions that are predefined in the Haskell Prelude.
Haskell's Standard List Functions
A tour of the standard Haskell functions, directed by what you want to achieve
Documentation for the standard libraries
Complete documentation of the standard Haskell libraries.
Haskell idioms
A collection of articles describing some common Haskell idioms. Often quite advanced.
Useful idioms
A collection of short, useful Haskell idioms.
Programming guidelines
Some Haskell programming and style conventions.
Lightning Tour of Haskell
By John Hughes, as part of a Chalmers programming course
The Little Haskeller
By Cordelia Hall and John Hughes. 9. November 1993, 26 pages. An introduction using the Chalmers Haskell B interpreter (hbi). Beware that it relies very much on the user interface of hbi which is quite different for other Haskell systems, and the tutorials cover Haskell 1.2 , not Haskell 98.
Functional Programming
By Jeroen Fokker, 1995. (153 pages, 600 KB). Textbook for learning functional programming with Gofer (an older implementation of Haskell). Here without Chapters 6 and 7.

Comparisons to other languages

Articles constrasting feature of Haskell with other languages.

Haskell versus Scheme
Mark C. Chu-Carroll, Haskell and Scheme: Which One and Why?
Comparing Haskell and Python
A short overview of similarities and differences between Haskell and Python.
Monads in OCaml
Syntax extension for monads in OCaml
Haskell for Perl programmers
Short intro for perlers
Introduction to Haskell versus Introduction to OCaml.
An algorithm for RELAX NG validation
by James Clark (of RELAX NG fame). Describes an algorithm for validating an XML document against a RELAX NG schema, uses Haskell to describe the algorithm. The algorithm in Haskell and Java is then discussed here.
Haskell + FastCGI versus Ruby on Rails
A short blog entry documenting performance results with ruby on rails and Haskell with fastcgi
Haskell vs. Ada vs. C++ vs. Awk vs. ..., An Experiment in Software Prototyping Productivity (postscript)
Paul Hudak and Mark P. Jones, 16 pages.

Description of the results of an experiment in which several conventional programming languages, together with the functional language Haskell, were used to prototype a Naval Surface Warfare Center requirement for Geometric Region Servers. The resulting programs and development metrics were reviewed by a committee chosen by the US Navy. The results indicate that the Haskell prototype took significantly less time to develop and was considerably more concise and easier to understand than the corresponding prototypes written in several different imperative languages, including Ada and C++.

A Comparative Study of Language Support for Generic Programming (pdf)
Ronald Garcia, Jaakko Jrvi, Andrew Lumsdaine, Jeremy G. Siek, and Jeremiah Willcock. In Proceedings of the 2003 ACM SIGPLAN conference on Object-oriented programming, systems, languages, and applications (OOPSLA'03), October 2003.

An interesting comparison of generic programming support across languages, including: Haskell, SML, C++, Java, C#. Haskell supports all constructs described in the paper -- the only language to do so.

Functional Programming in the Real World
A list of functional programs applied to real-world tasks. The main criterion for being real-world is that the program was written primarily to perform some task, not primarily to experiment with functional programming. Functional is used in the broad sense that includes both `pure' programs (no side effects) and `impure' (some use of side effects). Languages covered include CAML, Clean, Erlang, Haskell, Miranda, Scheme, SML, and others.
Lisp in Haskell
Writing A Lisp Interpreter In Haskell, a tutorial

Teaching Haskell

Where do I begin? A problem solving approach to teaching functional programming
By Simon Thompson. In Krzysztof Apt, Pieter Hartel, and Paul Klint, editors, First International Conference on Declarative Programming Languages in Education. Springer-Verlag, September 1997.
Abstract: This paper introduces a problem solving method for teaching functional programming, based on Polya's `How To Solve It', an introductory investigation of mathematical method. We first present the language independent version, and then show in particular how it applies to the development of programs in Haskell. The method is illustrated by a sequence of examples and a larger case study.
Functional programming through the curriculum
By Simon Thompson and Steve Hill. In Pieter H. Hartel and Rinus Plasmeijer, editors, Functional Programming Languages in Education, LNCS 1022, pages 85-102. Springer-Verlag, December 1995.
Abstract: This paper discusses our experience in using a functional language in topics across the computer science curriculum. After examining the arguments for taking a functional approach, we look in detail at four case studies from different areas: programming language semantics, machine architectures, graphics and formal languages.
The Risks and Benefits of Teaching Purely Functional Programming in First Year
By Manuel M. T. Chakravarty and Gabriele Keller. Journal of Functional Programming 14(1), pp 113-123, 2004. An earlier version of this paper was presented at Functional and Declarative Programming in Education (FDPE02).
Abstract We argue that teaching purely functional programming as such in freshman courses is detrimental to both the curriculum as well as to promoting the paradigm. Instead, we need to focus on the more general aims of teaching elementary techniques of programming and essential concepts of computing. We support this viewpoint with experience gained during several semesters of teaching large first-year classes (up to 600 students) in Haskell. These classes consisted of computer science students as well as students from other disciplines. We have systematically gathered student feedback by conducting surveys after each semester. This article contributes an approach to the use of modern functional languages in first year courses and, based on this, advocates the use of functional languages in this setting.

Using monads

See also the Monad HaskellWiki page.

Recommended tutorials

All About Monads
By Jeff Newbern. This tutorial aims to explain the concept of a monad and its application to functional programming in a way that is easy to understand and useful to beginning and intermediate Haskell programmers. Familiarity with the Haskell language is assumed, but no prior experience with monads is required.
Monads as computation
A tutorial which gives a broad overview to motivate the use of monads as an abstraction in functional programming and describe their basic features. It makes an attempt at showing why they arise naturally from some basic premises about the design of a library.
Monads as containers
A tutorial describing monads from a rather different perspective: as an abstraction of container-types, rather than an abstraction of types of computation.
Monad Transformers Step by Step
By Martin Grabmüller. A small tutorial on using monad transformers. In contrast to others found on the web, it concentrates on using them, not on their implementation.


The Parser monad and other monad (i.e. a monad with state and I/O string).
The parser monad is used to build modular, flexible, parsers.
How to build a monadic interpreter in one day (pdf)
By Dan Popa. A small tutorial on how to build a language in one day, using the Parser Monad in the front end and a monad with state and I/O string in the back end. Read it if you are interested in learning:
  1. language construction and
  2. interpreter construction

More tutorials

The Haskell Programmer's Guide to the IO Monad - Don't Panic.
By Stefan Klinger. This report scratches the surface of category theory, an abstract branch of algebra, just deep enough to find the monad structure. It seems well written.
A (hopefully) painless introduction to monads
By Dan Bensen. A straightforward beginner's guide with intuitive explanations and examples.
What the hell are Monads?
By Noel Winstanley. A basic introduction to monads, monadic programming and IO. This introduction is presented by means of examples rather than theory, and assumes a little knowledge of Haskell.
Monads for the Working Haskell Programmer -- a short tutorial
By Theodore Norvell.
You Could Have Invented Monads! (And Maybe You Already Have.)
A short tutorial on monads, introduced from a pragmatic approach, with less category theory references
Systematic Design of Monads
By John Hughes and Magnus Carlsson. Many useful monads can be designed in a systematic way, by successively adding facilities to a trivial monad. The capabilities that can be added in this way include state, exceptions, backtracking, and output. Here we give a brief description of the trivial monad, each kind of extension, and sketches of some interesting operations that each monad supports.
Meet Bob The Monadic Lover
By Andrea Rossato. A by-the-author-supposed-to-be funny and short introduction to Monads, with code but without any reference to category theory: what monads look like and what they are useful for, from the perspective of a ... lover. (There is also the slightly more serious The Monadic Way by the same author.)
Monstrous Monads
Andrew Pimlott's humourous introduction to monads, using the metaphor of "monsters".
Computational monads on Reddit, by tmoertel and dons.
Of monads and space suits
By Eric Kow.
The Monadic Way
Three kind of monads
sequencing, side effects or containers
Simple monad examples
Article on monads on Wikipedia
IO inside page
Explains why I/O in Haskell is implemented with a monad.
Blog articles
Monad Transformers Explained
The Greenhorn's Guide to becoming a Monad Cowboy
Covers basics in a for dummies style. Estimated learning time 1-2 days.

See also Research papers/Monads and arrows

Workshops on advanced functional programming

Advanced Functional Programming: 1st International Spring School on Advanced Functional Programming Techniques, Bastad, Sweden, May 24 - 30, 1995. Tutorial Text (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Advanced Functional Programming: 2nd International School, Olympia, Wa, Usa, August 26-30, 1996 Tutorial Text (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Advanced Functional Programming: 3rd International School, AFP'98, Braga, Portugal, September 12-19, 1998, Revised Lectures (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Advanced Functional Programming: 4th International School, AFP 2002, Oxford, UK, August 19-24, 2002, Revised Lectures (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Advanced Functional Programming: 5th International School, AFP 2004, Tartu, Estonia, August 14-21, 2004, Revised Lectures (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)

More advanced materials available from the conference proceedings, and the Research papers collection.